Watershed Management Practice and Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers: The Case of Hidabu Abote Woreda of North Shoa Zone in Oromia Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Natural resources have been degrading due to intensive agricultural activities in many developing countries. To rehabilitate the degraded natural resources watershed management practices has became the key approach to minimize loss of such resources. In Ethiopia the government was tried to implement soil and water conservation (SWC) measures through community campaign. The study examined the impacts of watershed management practices on smallholder farmers’ livelihood in Hidabu Abote Woreda, North Shewa, Oromia regional State, Ethiopia. The study employed a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. Data was generated through household (HH) survey, key informant interviews, focuses group discussion and observation. The quantitative data were generated from 266 household, where the sample sized detrained by standard method. Additionally, tables, graphs, narrative method, Pearson chisquare was used to examine the association between the activities of WSM and livelihood of smallholder farmers. The analysis shows that, physical and, biological SWC measures and agronomic practices were the most commonly implemented activities to conserve natural resources thereby increase land productivities and improved smallholder farmer’s livelihood. As the part of Watershed Management practices the forest/trees conservation, livestock feed and grazing land management and water sources conservation undertaken by different ways.The pearson Chi-square statistical analysis revealed that all these activities have considerable role in increasing particularly crop yields. Different factors constrained the WSM practice that include lack of training and low quality of trainings given either for extension or farmers, lack of appropriate technology, open grazing, deforestation, limited maintenance of SWC structures, inadequate extension services, insufficient (small) farmland holding, shortage of cash income to cover agricultural input costs, poor (backward) agricultural practices, fearing reduction of farmland size due to land closure for conservation. The study also verified that WSM have great role in creating job opportunity in order to enhance income and livelihood of smallholder farmers. Irrigation, cattle fattening, beekeeping, forest and tree seedling production in developed watershed and significant change viewed on socioeconomic, environment and on attitude of farmers after WSM practice implemented.The policy makers and actors emphasize on the solving the limitation through providing technical or action oriented training and awareness creation through considering indegineus knowledge, allocation of extension service and provide materials (tools) used SWC are the key reccomondation finded



Watershed Management, Livelihood, Soil and Water conservation, smallholder farmers